Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Maui Open Studios: Michael and Karen O'Reilly

Karen O'Reilly's art (vertical piece) featured at the O'Reilly Open Studio event, part of Maui Open Studios weekend one,
which began last weekend in Upcountry Maui.
Karen uses a technique called cold casting,
using metal powder and resin to create durable,
weather resistant pieces. It's also a way to create larger sculptures using a casting process that doesn't require molten metal. There are no public bronze foundries on Maui. Karen is also a talented hair stylist.
Michael O'Reilly's art. The wood in the goblets, bowl, vase, and oil lamps are shaped on a lathe, then finished with a marine grade protectant and then a high gloss polyurethane or urethane. Michael says one can even hand wash the wood pieces with soap and water. The water doesn't harm the finish at all. They are extremely shiny with a smooth glass like surface. The table has a copper cross inlay, which has been chased or repoussed and hammered for different textures. The table has then been sealed with the marine grade finish and a high gloss protectant. 

Portrait in relief, another cold-casted sculpture by Karen O'Reilly. Karen and Michael also work together creating wooden purses. 

Detail of Michael O'Reilly's copper cross table. Since it's sealed in the table, the copper does not tarnish. It really glows. 

Michael posing with a shaka sign next to his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The devil guitar player decal on the side is one of Michael's designs, painted on glass with special paints, lifted and then applied and sealed. The seat is made of leather over a shovel head. Pretty creative reuse of materials. Michael says it's very comfortable and has also made a second seat for his wife using the same technique. Michael does both wood working
and custom automotive painting. Karen and Michael have some varied interests, ranging from metal work, auto painting, wood work, purse making, hair cutting and styling, and sculptures.

The other great thing I learned from Michael is the term "transmedia artist" - for any artist who works in more than one media and likes to explore. 


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